A Season of Giving
In this our town, in the year of Our Lord 2013, nonprofit is a year-round word. It’s a definition, in economic terms, in which institutions and organizations tell the world that their mission is not turn a profit. They’re doing what they’re doing to help those in need of homes, food, health care and education. In this our town, helping nonprofits do what they do is a major part of the social and political landscape. In a rich city, there are many who need much. Everybody can help, but we can’t help everybody and so have to choose. In our cultural scene, major organizations haves their donors, their subscribers, but others don’t always fare so well. This season, let’s see if we can’t spread the wealth among the smaller theater groups, the orchestra without a home, the theater without a stage, the dance company without a venue. We may be the culturally richest urban area around, but it doesn’t mean that culture is only for the rich.
We can’t help or even mention all the deserving groups and nonprofits in the DC area that need your help, but we have picked out a few that have held our interest enough to share them with you.
HOPE FOR CHILDREN UNITED STATES—Hope for Children-United States is a US nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in Ethiopia affected by HIV/AIDS. HFC-US works with HFC Ethiopia, which founded the organization in the capital city Addis Ababa in 2001 under the leadership of Yewoinshet Masresha. HFC-US offers child sponsorships with annual commitments of $350 for each child for food, shelter, clothing, school fees and uniforms and access to all HFC programs and activities until age 18. It also sponsors a youth center in Addis where sponsored children are educated to make the transition to independence. The center has been in operation since 2007. In addition HFC-US began awarding vocational school scholarships for older students, sponsored its first youth group home in Addis in 2011 and supports the St. Yared’s School, also in Addis, which is run by HFC-Australia.
This year, with T-H-E Talent Agency providing the fashion, Hope for Children United States held a dinner-fashion gala at the Embassy of Ethiopia, led by HFC-US Board President Carol A Rhees, to raise funds for HFC-US programs.
Elizabeth McDavitt-Centenari,Vice President and Director of T-H-E Artist Agency, got involved after her daughter Madison, then a Senior at Maret School and now a sophomore at Skidmore College in Saratoga, New York, took up the HFC-US projects in Ethiopia as a Senior project in 2012. “We all went to Addis Ababa, Madison, her sister Isabella and my husband Paul, to see the programs, the school and the youth center there. It was an amazing experience for us,” McDavitt-Centenari said. “ I think Carol Rhees, the President of HFC-US is an extraordinary leader and human being. Her tireless and passionate effort is beyond extraordinary.”
Contributions to Hope for Children can be made at www.hopeforchildrenus.org
JOSEPH’S HOUSE—Joseph’s House in the residential heart of Lanier Heights in Adams Morgan opened in 1990 in response to the growing AIDS crisis in Washington. It began as and continues to be a remarkable welcoming community. It offers comprehensive nursing and support services to homeless men and women dying of AIDS and cancer.
Joseph’s House is a hospice, but operates and focuses on caring in a unique way with a clinical staff and trained caregivers working to create a home where the values of unreserved love and friendship are practiced. “Together, we nurture the living and accompany the dying, providing a depth of physical emotional and spiritual support that creates the possibility for profound healing and their restoration of individual diginity.”
Joseph’s House is an integral and familiar part of the Lanier Heights neighborhood, inviting neighbors into their healing community as volunteers and visitors and taking part in neighborhood activities. It’s motto: “Small acts, great loves”.
For information on donations, helping or volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org
THE CHANCE FOUNDATION—The Chance Foundation is operated by Country Club Kennels, a one-of-a-kind boarding and training facility. It has locations in Fauquier and Orange County, Virginia, and is an all-breed, no-kill rescue arm of the kennels.(See photos on opposite page of dogs needing adoption.)
The Foundation helps homeless, neglected, abused and abandoned dogs. The Foundation takes in as many dogs as it can afford at any given time. Currently, a number of dogs are still available for adoption, including Dusty, a wire haired fox terrier; Kyra, a hound; Pumba, a two-year-old rat terrier mix; Howard, an Anatolian Shepherd mix; and Adam, a two-year old long haired German Shepherd mix.
For information for adoptions or donations, call 1-540-788-3559 or e-mail at email@example.com. The Country Club Kennels are located at 10739 Bristersburg Road, Cattlett, VA 20119. The owner is Carla Namack.
THE GEORGETOWN MINISTRY CENTER—The Georgetown Ministry Center, an organization of diverse communities in Georgetown, is dedicated to guiding homeless individuals towards stability and housing. They offer a safe and welcoming environment where everyone is treated with respect. They also educate the community about homelessness. For information or donations, email firstname.lastname@example.org
PROJECT CREATE provides accessible arts education to promote positive development in children, youth and families experiencing homelessness and poverty. For donations or information go to www.projectcreatedc.org
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR ADOPTION—The National Council for Adoption is an adoption advocacy nonprofit that promotes a culture of adoption through education, research and legislative action. NCFA works to give every child a nurturing, permanent home by meeting the needs of the broad spectrum of adoption. To see what NCFA is currently doing or to help, go to www.adoptioncouncil.org.
THE DUMBARTON OAKS PARK CONSERVANCY is a nonprofit organization established in 2010 that seeks to restore one of Americas ten greatest garden landscape designs, namely the 27-acre Dumbarton Oaks Park, which was formerly part of the Dumbarton Oaks estate in Georgetown. It is a naturalistic, but intensely designed landscape of meadows, woodlands, bulbs and wildflowers and paths and ponds, offering recreation and quiet beauty for visitors. It has greatly deteriorated over time. The Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy, in partnershiop with the National Park Service, seeks to bring the Dumbarton Oaks Park back to its aesthetic splendor. If you would like to meet our board go to www.dumbartonoakspark.wordpress.com/about/board-of-directors/
HELPING OUT ON THE SOCIAL NETWORK—Often people are suspicious or afraid to explore giving to good causes on the Internet or through social media such as Facebook. Some of us, however, have found different ways to donate to different causes. We’ve seen people helping people by assisting a school get art supplies or helping an artistic youth create a web series. Best of all, social media isn’t just about money but about spreading the word. One such good cause caught our attention: a young woman, Courtney Valentine, who’s trying to raise money to remove a brain tumor. For more information, go here.